Psychology 101

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Status: In Progress  |  Genre: Other  |  House: Two Rivers

Chapter 7 (v.1) - It's All about the Work

Submitted: January 18, 2018

Reads: 52

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Submitted: January 18, 2018



John Spencer set up his sign: “Will paint a house for food.”  He painted a sign like the old sign painters did in the early 20th century had done using the colors red, and black letters on a white painted piece of plywood.  His girlfriend said she would help him if he got a bite and thought they would knock a house out in a day.  He had just sat down on his lawn chair when some bad boys from some gang drove by and shouted at him and threw an apple core at him.  “Go paint an outhouse, fool!”  He realized the people walking by probably all lived in apartments and didn’t even own a house.  “I’ll just sit here and go home if nobody stops, I’ve fulfilled the assignment anyway,” he thought. 

“You paint apartments?”  The middle-man asked, picking up his sign.

“Absolutely,” John said.

“How much?” the man asked. 

“I’m can’t charge; it’s a personal thing.”

“Okay, you paint my apartment today, and I’ll take you and your helper to the best restaurant in Manhattan.  “You do have a helper, right?”

“Yeah, my girlfriend,” John said.  Wondering how big and how fancy this apartment can be.

“Okay, here’s the address.  I’ll furnish the ladders, drop cloths, and painting equipment.  Be there one hour sharp!”

“Okay!” John said, standing and calling his girlfriend to come down and help him.

When Martha got there she noticed the address.  “Hmm, nice neighborhood, upper Westside, small apartments, but expensive I hope this guy isn’t too particular.”

When they got there the apartment was empty one bedroom with all the painting equipment on the living room floor.  “Call me when you’re done,” the man said and handed Martha his card. 

After the guy left, she said, “He’s one of the biggest painting contractors in New York City!  “I wonder what he’s doing painting this place?”  The color was eggshell white throughout, easy enough.

When they were done they called him.  “Pick a place anywhere in Manhattan,” he said.

“Ah, my girlfriend and I are vegans,” John said. 

“Hey, freedom of religion, I always say.”  He laughed.  “Just pick a place.  I can eat anything.”

They met at John and Martha’s favorite eatery.  “So, here’s the thing, I get people all the time wanting me to paint their apartments, friends of mine.  I can’t say no, so here I am painting apartments while at the same time I’m letting my commercial work suffer.  I get a lot of these because of the word of mouth.  I like your work.  I’ll give you $2000 per apartment.  Work at your own pace and your own schedule.”

John and Martha looked at each other.  It was what they had been dreaming about, so they could continue their workouts and running routines.  They could also save enough so she could open up her own gym.  “Okay,” John said.  “Ah, do you have a truck to haul the equipment?”

“Yep, I’ll drop everything off tomorrow morning at your place, or…you can pick the truck up at my place.”

“Your place would be better for us,” John said.  Here is the list of houses that need painting.  Give me a bill, and I’ll write a check that day for the house you’ve completed.  Do we have a deal?”

He got up to go.  “And, remember to lock the truck every night, okay?”

“Okay,” John said and wondered if Martha was thinking like he was about the apartment they had just painted for a free meal.  They could have made $2000!  If they did one apartment a day, that would be crazy money.  He came back to earth and realized not every apartment was going to be that easy, but if they did one a week that wouldn’t be too shabby either.

John said under his breathe, “LOCK, L…O…C…K.”  The word the professor put on the board the first day of class.  His new boss had just said to make sure to lock the truck.  Hmm…


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